The Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) has released a Public Notice seeking comments on the steps wireless phone carriers are taking to protect the privacy and data security of customer information that is stored on consumers’ mobile devices and on how existing laws apply to the carriers’ information practices. 

Section 222 of the Communications Act and the FCC’s implementing regulations restrict how phone carriers may use and disclose customer proprietary network information (the so-called “CPNI Rules”).  These carriers also must take reasonable steps to protect their customers’ private information. 

The FCC considered this issue five years ago in 2007, but noted that carriers’ more recent use of software embedded or preinstalled on wireless devices to collect information about the performance of the device and the carriers’ networks created a “need to refresh [the] record.” 

Comments are due 30 days after the Public Notice is published in the Federal Register, and reply comments are due 15 days later.